It’s tough to see a franchise with a lot of possibility in it destroyed by a lack of proper interpretation. When you see something you grew up with ported to the big screen and it just does not deliver. I have noticed that most of the time the method of failure most common, is direct transposition. In other words they take too much from the original version and simply put it on the screen in almost an exacting detail. Then they attempt to bulldoze their own concept into it and make it work. I’ll take the Transformers franchise as an example. I along with a lot of others liked the first movie, it was nostalgia incarnate. Unfortunately that was also it’s greatest weakness. It’s like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in forever and being so happy for the reunion. Then coming to realize that person is a jerk and that’s why you aren’t friends anymore in the first place. Transformers took the cartoonish robots from the series and gave them an updated look, but kept all the rest of the cartoonish elements to their behavior and personalities, voice alterations aside. Then tried to shoe in this action comedy element with the humans which in and of it’s self is cartoonish. What they really needed to do was work from the ground up and recreate the entire concept while sprinkling in elements from the original. Building on my planet storytelling model to achieve a better story and not just a showcase for their cool effects and designs.
Rebooting franchises like Spider-man mid stream can be tricky and, often alienates an audience. Despite the fact that the audience is tired of the old legacy, and desperately wants a big change, they will defend it against any new comers by instinct. Some because they don’t want a repeat, and others because as terrible as it got they still have fond memories of it and just want the best parts back again. In the vein of this thin line I am going to write a scene for a reboot of G.I. Joe. It’s going to be a scene with a lot of exposition in it to describe the different approach to the franchise, as well as dive into a tricky scene to pull off with out boring the audience with too much talky talk, as it is often referred too.
Int – Day
“War Room” meeting room with large screen OLEDs lighting up the room with news footage of terrorist attacks. In the middle of the room is a large interactive table top screen with various intel on it for viewing by the participants. Room is moderately lit in order to give better focus to the back-lit screens.
General Hawk – Male early 60s Military Uniform (As are all other Military Personnel according to their ranks and positions)
Two generic MPs standing guard on the inside and two more on the outside of the door as the small contingent enters the room
Senator Shilling – Female (R) Georgia (Head of the Anti-Terrorist Senate Over-site Comity)
Small group of high ranking military personal aprox 5 – 6 as entourage to the General
General Holds the door open. camera inside the room sees mostly darkness in the room as the light floods in from the brightly lit hallway as the Senator enters the room.
Shilling: Thank You General
Hawk: Of course Senator
Hawk enters the room behind the Senator as well as his small contingent, then the room behind them closes. Darkness envelops the camera as it jump cuts to behind the table facing the monitors, shoulder height, back of Senators head in the the shot and General standing on the other side off to the other side looking back as he explains the situation
Hawk: Now as you can see here the bombing of the O. R. Tambo International Airport, in South Africa
Schilling: Why there? Why not, Paris, London, or here in the U.S.
Hawk: It’s the largest International Airport in South Africa, Stops U.S. forces from delivering aid to those countries. Makes people feel we are unreliable, maybe even negligent they start to resent us, next thing you know we’ve lost several key allies in the region and might even have sparked a few civil wars.
Schilling: That’s awful, but I got most of this in the intelligence report this morning
Hawk: I understand that Senator, but Cobra seems to be hitting some bigger targets now, and we have to be prepared for the worst
Hawk: Yeah they are responsible for the attack
Schilling: I’m sorry General but your intelligence is lacking, Al-Shabab is responsible for that attack
Hawk: Sorry Senator, Al-Shabab took credit for the attack, but Cobra executed the operation
Hawk Hits a button on the table top and brings up some other terrorist hits in the news, in the recent past
Hawk: When Cobra hit London a couple of years ago in the subway
Schilling: Now we know that was Hamas as a direct response to the aid they were giving Israel
Hawk: Yes Senator, but again executed by Cobra and claimed by Hamas, and in Syria
Schilling: You’re not going to tell me that the Uprising there was Cobra
Hawk: Of course not they have had their problems long before Cobra got involved, Cobra was just the ones who supplied the resistance with arms. This of course changed the balance of power in the area creating the opportunity for the dispute currently ravaging the area
Schilling: This Cobra group seems to come up a lot, whats their end game?
Hawk: Cobra isn’t interested in an end game, they aren’t the “Give us a Trillion or we blow up the White House” type of group. They are merely facilitators. They make their money, committing acts of terrorism and letting their benefactors take the credit. That’s their business model
Schilling: So if we took out this Cobra Organization?
Hawk: Honestly Senator, if we could take out Cobra in one single incursion, not really possible, we’d eliminate 82% of the current terrorist attacks being perpetrated today
Schilling: They are really that deep into this?
Hawk: Well more like mid 90 percentile but we figure it would generate splinter groups which would pick up some of the slack to 82% is conservative
Schilling: General why are you showing me all this?
Hawk taps a button and all the monitors go blank. He digs into some folders on the table top and selects a few pieces of intelligence and tosses them up on the screens
Hawk: Well Senator, currently the military is chasing it’s tale with all these groups claiming credit despite the fact that they have little to nothing to do with any of the current attacks. What I really need is a small elite group in order to be able to more precisely deal with these threats
Schilling: I understand how can I help
Hawk: These soldiers here Sergeant Hauser, Conrad S., Paratrooper Faireborn, Dashiell R., Special Operations Agent Hart-Burnett, Alison R., and Counter Intelligence Operative O’Hara, Shana M. Nicknamed Duke, Flint, Lady Jaye, and Scarlet. This is a team created specifically for this problem. They have all been trainers in the Seal Team and Army Rangers Programs and know about as much about Cobra as anybody alive does.
Schilling: So what, we go in guns blazing with these “Experts” in the lead?
Hawk: No Senator, these four are not hammers, they are scalpels. They have all fought and bled for this nation on countless occasions, your staring at four real american heroes. Although never working together before, I am confident in their abilities. We are looking at a black ops team with not just an Anti-Terrorism focus but more specifically an Anti-Cobra focus. If we could disable Cobras ability to operate effectively we can win this war
Schilling: Ok lets say I believe all this, what do you want from me?
Hawk: I need permission, Senate approval for the formation of this team, and of course funding
Schilling: Of course, lets see the fine print
Hawk hits a tab on the table top and the screens all turn off, except the table top. The overhead lights come on bring the overall brightness in the room up. Hawk pulls a file from a folder on the side of the display and out comes three txt heavy pages
Hawk: I can have this printed and ready for you to sign in a few seconds, all I need is for you to get a majority of the Senators in the comity to sign it as well
Schilling: You have got to be kidding me, this has a clause for scale-able increases with out further approval, the comity will never go for it
Hawk: Senator, your job is to make sure they do. If we are successful it may be necessary to induct other agents into the program to expand it’s operations. Do you really want Cobra to slip through our finger simply because we were three men short in an important operation?
Schilling: Ok I can see that, but you have to curtail this to a maximum expansion of 10% annually with any further expansion by comity approval only
Hawk: You’ve got a deal, at 15%
Schilling: 12% and not an inch more
hawk Turns to a colonel standing beside him and signals for the papers, the colonel was holding on to the entire meeting. Hawk then places them in front of the senator with a pen for signing
Schilling: whats this
Hawk: The deal
Schilling: So you already figured I’d give you 12%?
Hawk: Senator, I’ve been doing this for almost half a century now
Schilling: Fair enough
The Senator signs the paper and the colonel takes the document and places it inside of a manila envelop then hands it to the senator
Hawk: Your turn Senator, keep in mind the sooner you get this signed the sooner we can put Cobra out of business
The senator holds her hand out and Hawk shakes it, then she turns to exit the room and the camera slides behind her and the lense goes black with an acompanying side wipe.